"I decided to migrate for work because my parents do not have a home, we do not have any land of our own…. I just really want to build a house like my friend and give happiness to my family"
—Sumiyatun, a 24-year-old woman waiting to board a ferry to Singapore, where she had secured a job as a domestic worker, Batam, Indonesia, May 23, 2006
"I'm crying inside my heart…. If I can solve my financial problems this time, I will never migrate again…. If we have no money, we have no other choice but to go abroad. We have to get rid of this poverty"
—Chandrika Malkanthi, a 45-year-old woman preparing to migrate to the Middle East, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, November 4, 2006
"..They treated us poorly, always calling us names like 'dog' "
—Widyaningsih, a 35-year-old woman recently returned from Malaysia describing conditions she had faced while being recruited in Indonesia, East Java, Indonesia, May 21, 2006
"The government gets a good profit from us, they must take care of us. They must do more to protect us"
—Sitakumari, a 38-year-old woman who worked in Bahrain and Dubai as a domestic worker for a total of 10 years, Kurunegala district, Sri Lanka, November 6, 2006
"My family, especially my grandmother, was ashamed of me because I worked abroad and returned without any money"
—Nur Safinah, a former domestic worker in Singapore who now runs a successful cattle breeding company in her hometown, Banyumas, Indonesia.
"I really hate myself for leaving my little child in a hostel. But if I have to repay the hospital bills and give him a good education, I need to keep this job that pays me at least four times what I would have got in India"
—Rupsha Matur, an Indian national working as a researcher in an oil firm in Abu Dhabi.
"I have left behind my ageing parents, three children and a sickly husband in Manila. It's been three years since I saw any of them, but I can't bring them here"
—Arlene, a Filipino domestic worker in Dubai, UAE.
"I left Pakistan six years back after my husband left me and my five-year-old son to fend for ourselves. I had to take up this job but have to live away from my son. He is 11 now and all I see of him are his photographs"
—Razia Saleem, a Pakistani attendant in a school in Sharjah, UAE.
"I was sold twice in Japan. I was told I had to pay back a debt of a million yen (8,700 U.S. dollars) and was often beaten and kept hungry by the boss. I was also under surveillance for 24 hours"
—Patricia, a 23-year-old Colombian woman, a victim of human trafficking in Japan who was forced to work in the sex industry.
"If you don't have papers, you work 8 or 10 hours a day, six days a week, and you don't complain"
—Mario, a middle-age illegal immigrant in the States from Mexico
"In every country, you'll find good person and bad person. There's always someone who hates foreigners, who tells people from abroad to go back to their home countries. I have had some terrible experiences meeting people like that"
—Urip Sri Maeny, a Javanese Dancer who has been made an Artist-in-Residence at Wesleyan University
"I simply did not feel ready to go back home yet. I would like to gain real work experiences in an environment that I had become relatively comfortable in.."
—Aldo Tedjomoeljono, an Indonesian who graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. Currently, he works as a consultant in a university in the States
"I have been living in the States with my mother, my husband, and my daughters for six years. My son and other family members live in Buenos Aires. I haven't been going home since I came here, but I make a call to Argentina every day. It's cheaper"
—Sonia, originally from Buenos Aires, now she works as a janitor at Wesleyan University's campus